Dietary fiber: types and health benefits

Dietary fiber: types and health benefits

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

QL Health is back with another important topic: dietary fiber, its types and health benefits.

What is dietary fiber?

Fiber plays an important role in maintaining the health of the digestive system. Dietary fiber includes the parts of plant foods that our body cannot absorb unlike fats, proteins or carbohydrates which are broken down by the various digestive enzymes that can be absorbed in the intestines and then transferred by the bloodstream to different cells of our body. Instead, fiber passes relatively intact through our digestive system and out of the body.

How many types of dietary fiber are there?

Dietary fiber is classified into two main types:

Soluble fiber: This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. Sources include fruits, vegetables, grains (such as oats and barley), seeds (such as pumpkin seeds and flax), legumes (such as beans, lentils and peas). It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels

Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber doesn't dissolve in water. However, it promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation. Sources include fruit peels, vegetable peels, nuts, whole grain (such as whole rice - whole wheat).

The amount of soluble and insoluble fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

What are the benefits of dietary fiber to the human body?

  • It is an essential food for the beneficial bacteria in the intestines, which in turn ferment these dietary fibers, producing some fatty acids that the beneficial bacteria feed on, so that they can multiply in the gut.
  • Helps control blood sugar level and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It limits the speed of glucose absorption through the digestive system, which prevents a sudden rise in blood sugar (glucose) level after meals.
  • Regulates intestinal movement and prevents constipation. Fiber absorbs water, thus increasing the size of the fecal mass, and making it softer, which facilitates its passage through the intestine, and also prevents colon cancer as it protects the intestinal wall from contact with toxic and carcinogenic substances in food.
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease. It has a lowering effect on cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Contributes to losing excess weight. It gives a feeling of fullness and satiety that lasts for a long time because of the gelatinous mass formed by the volume of fibers inside the stomach.

Health recommendations:

  • Avoid squeezing fruits, as they lose their content of fiber when squeezed, that’s why it is always recommended to eat fruits with their pulp in order to benefit from their content of fiber.
  • The peels of some fruits and vegetables are among the richest parts in fiber, so it is advisable not to peel them, when possible.
  • Gradually increase your daily intake of fiber in vegetables, fruits, hulled rice, hulled wheat products, sesame seeds, pumpkin, and others.
  • Avoid eating refined foods that have lost their fiber during processing, such as white rice and white wheat products (like white bread, pastries and pasta).
  • Avoid eating pure fiber, as in tablets that contain fiber alone, such as wheat bran tablets.

Conclusively, it is very important to adhere to a balanced diet that provides the body with all the necessary nutrients, as this has a positive impact on the psychological state, immune function and physical health, without excessive intake of any food element.

--

Make sure to check out our social media to keep track of the latest content.

Instagram - @qatarliving

Twitter - @qatarliving

Facebook - Qatar Living

YouTube qatarlivingofficial

COVID-19 Banner
Log in or register to post comments

More from Qatar Living

Qatar sets Guinness World Record for most nationalities planting tree at the same time

Qatar sets Guinness World Record for most nationalities planting tree at the same time

The Supervisory Committee for the Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar has set a new Guinness Global Record for the ‘Most Nationalities Planting Trees at the Same Time’, adding to Qatar's long collection of world records.
Qatar Energy announces fuel prices for November 2021

Qatar Energy announces fuel prices for November 2021

Qatar Energy has released the latest fuel price list, effective Monday, November 1, 2021.
9th edition of Ajyal Film Festival to feature 85 inspiring films from 44 countries

9th edition of Ajyal Film Festival to feature 85 inspiring films from 44 countries

Presented by the Doha Film Institute (DFI), the Ajyal Film Festival will see weeklong film screenings and community-oriented events under the theme, ‘Press Play!’
5 Spots for BBQ in Qatar

5 Spots for BBQ in Qatar

As we get comfortable with the winds getting chillier and take out those light snazzy jackets, we couldn’t help but choose our top spots for BBQ in Qatar for you!
WATCH: Spectacular Al Thumama Stadium becomes sixth tournament-ready venue for Qatar 2022

WATCH: Spectacular Al Thumama Stadium becomes sixth tournament-ready venue for Qatar 2022

Qatar’s latest FIFA World Cup™ tournament venue was unveiled on Friday night when Al Thumama Stadium hosted the Amir Cup Final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd.
WATCH: HH the Amir, Father Amir perform rain-seeking prayers

WATCH: HH the Amir, Father Amir perform rain-seeking prayers

Qatar’s Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani performed the Istisqa prayer earlier this morning together with worshippers in the Al-Wajbah prayer ground.
WATCH: Qatar Living wraps up successful participation at Cityscape 2021

WATCH: Qatar Living wraps up successful participation at Cityscape 2021

Qatar Living (QL) successfully concluded its participation at the ninth edition of the country’s most prestigious and influential real estate and networking event, Cityscape Qatar 2021, held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center earlier this week.
WATCH: Sheikha Moza discusses QF’s establishment from vision to reality

WATCH: Sheikha Moza discusses QF’s establishment from vision to reality

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF) shared insights into how the foundation went from vision to reality at a special panel discussion aired on Qatar TV yesterday.